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The Lord's conclusion is that devotional service is independent of any other process. The cultivation of knowledge, renunciation or meditation may be a little helpful in the beginning, but they cannot be considered necessary for devotional service

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"the Lord's conclusion is that devotional service is independent of any other process. The cultivation of knowledge, renunciation or meditation may be a little helpful in the beginning, but they cannot be considered necessary for the discharge of devotional service"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

The Lord's conclusion is that devotional service is independent of any other process. The cultivation of knowledge, renunciation or meditation may be a little helpful in the beginning, but they cannot be considered necessary for the discharge of devotional service. In other words, devotional service can be discharged independently of the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 13:

When Uddhava was asking Kṛṣṇa about rules and regulations according to Vedic injunctions, he asked, "Why is it that the Vedic hymns encourage one in material enjoyment, while at the same time the Vedic instructions also free one from all illusion and encourage one toward liberation?" The Vedic rules are supposed to be ordained by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but apparently there are contradictions, and Uddhava was anxious to know how one could be freed from these contradictions. In reply, Lord Kṛṣṇa informed him of the superexcellence of devotional service.

"It is neither practical nor necessary for one who is already engaged in devotional service to Me and whose mind is fixed on Me to endeavor for the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation." Thus the Lord's conclusion is that devotional service is independent of any other process. The cultivation of knowledge, renunciation or meditation may be a little helpful in the beginning, but they cannot be considered necessary for the discharge of devotional service. In other words, devotional service can be discharged independently of the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation. In this regard, there is also a verse from Skanda Purāṇa in which Parvata Muni told a hunter tribesman: "O hunter, the qualifications which you have just now acquired—such as nonviolence and others—are not astonishing, because one who is engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Lord cannot be a source of trouble for anyone under any circumstance."

After discussing these points, Lord Caitanya told Sanātana Gosvāmī, "Thus far I have explained devotional service according to the regulative principles. Now I shall explain devotional service to you in terms of transcendental attachment."

The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, Vrajavāsīs, are living examples of devotional service. Theirs is ideal devotional service with attachment, and such devotion can be found only in Vrajabhūmi, Vṛndāvana. If one develops devotional service and attachment by following in the footsteps of the Vrajavāsīs, he attains rāga-mārga-bhakti, or devotional service in attachment to the Lord. According to Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.270), "Devotional service with ecstatic attachment for that service, which becomes natural for the devotee, is called rāga, or transcendental attachment." Devotional service discharged with such attachment is called rāgātmikā, and deep attachment with deep absorption in the object of love is called rāgātmikā. Examples of these can be seen in the activities of the residents of Vrajabhūmi. One who becomes attracted to Kṛṣṇa by hearing of such attachment is certainly very fortunate. When one becomes deeply affected by the devotion of the residents of Vrajabhūmi and tries to follow in their footsteps, he does not care for the restrictions or regulations of the revealed scriptures. This is the characteristic of one discharging rāga-bhakti.

Devotional service with attachment is natural, and one who has been attracted by it does not argue with those who oppose him, even though others may argue by presenting scriptural injunctions. The natural inclination to devotional service is also based on scriptural injunction, and one who has attachment for such devotional service is not required to give it up simply on the strength of scriptural argument. In this connection it should be noted that a class of so-called devotees (known as prākṛta-sahajiyā) follow their own concocted ideas and, representing themselves as Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā, indulge in debauchery. Such devotional service and attachment are false, and those so engaged are actually gliding down a hellish path. This is not the standard of rāgātmikā, or devotion. The prākṛta-sahajiyā community is actually cheated and very unfortunate.

Devotional service with attachment can be executed in two ways—externally and internally. Externally the devotee strictly follows the regulative principles beginning with chanting and hearing, while internally he thinks of the attachment which attracts him to serve the Supreme Lord. Indeed, he always thinks of his special devotional service and attachment. Such attachment does not violate the regulative principles of devotional service, and a real devotee adheres to these principles strictly; yet he always thinks of his particular attachment.

Since all the inhabitants of Vrajabhūmi, Vṛndāvana, are very dear to Kṛṣṇa, a devotee selects one of the inhabitants and follows in his footsteps in order to be successful in his own devotional service. A pure devotee who is attached to the Lord always follows in the footsteps of a personality of Vrajabhūmi. It is advised in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.294) that a pure devotee attached to devotional service should always remember the activities of a particular inhabitant of Vraja, even though he is not able to live in Vrajabhūmi or Vṛndāvana. In this way he can always think of Vrajabhūmi and Vṛndāvana.